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Govt asked to investigate illegal appointments, promotions, misdeeds by Hijazi

December 16, 2018: The federal government is demanded to file a reference against ex-chief Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Zafar Hijazi for making illegal appointments, out of turn promotions, corruption and ask Hijazi to immediately refund terminal benefits of Rs110 million, paid to him illegally.

In an application filed to the office of prime minister, the finance Minister and to the Chairman SECP’s Policy Board, the Policy Board asked to refer the matter to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for an investigation and inquiry, pertaining to all the corruption, ultra vires and misdeeds done by Zafar Hijazi during his service tenure at the SECP. The application is made by Mrs Amina Malik through his lawyer M Azhar Saddique, advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan. 

It was claimed that Zafar Hijazi was appointed as Chairman SECP by absconder finance minister, Ishaq Dar, who was a close friend of Zafar Hijazi. It is asserted that Hijazi is a below average chartered accountant who could not secure any job after completion of his earlier terms as Commissioner in SECP from 1999 to 2003, which was also been awarded to him by the then finance minister Ishaq Dar, in total disregard of merit. Zafar Hijazi remained jobless from 2003 to 2014, nor did he practice chartered accountancy. He was publishing a regional small newspaper in the city of Abbottabad.

Ishaq Dar again became federal finance minister in 2014 and appointed Hijazi Chairman SECP once again. It was mentioned in application that, Ishaq Dar had discarded the whole process of appointment of Commissioners at SECP that was at final stage when Ishaq Dar took charge as minister. After scrapping the earlier process, Dar restarted the hiring and ended at appointing Zafar Hijazi, an owner of regional newspaper, Chairman SECP.  This a delayed the appointment of Commissioners at SECP for over four months.

After his appointment, Hijazi started hiring amongst his clan and cronies as consultants and advisors as well as out sourcing arrangements, the applicant alleged and added that an enquiry can definitely confirm that none of the above appointments and arrangements was on merit.

Moreover, it is alleged, at the time of becoming Chairman SECP, Hijazi was involved in serious litigation in connection with divorce and child custody of his son, Arsalan Zafar. He started accommodating his personal lawyers by awarding them SECP’s cases at hefty fee, namely Rahat Kaunain and Riyasat Gondal. Not only, Hijazi awarded them millions of worth cases on account of SECP, but also directed different entities falling within SECP’s jurisdiction to refer cases to above mentioned lawyers.

In addition, he also appointed son of his lawyer, Riyasat Gondal in SECP, unlawfully. Hijazi also got his son, out of turn promoted in advance, a rare case in any organization. He appointed one, Ali Sidique, son of PML N politician and his close friend, Siddiq-ul-Farooq, despite knowing the fact that Ali Sidique did not possess the requisite qualification and skills. Unfortunately, Siddiq-ul-Farooq’s son was died a few month after joining the SECP. To accommodate his family, Hijazi immediately introduced a policy of death grant at SECP and paid a hefty amount to the family of Ali.

Zafar Hijazi, claimed the applicant, who used to live hand to mouth till the time of his appointment as Chairman SECP. Within his service tenure, Hijazi managed to make assets worth Rs100 million including one kanal plot in Park Enclave, Rs 35 million investment in mutual funds and Rs40 million investment in NIT Units.

Zafar Hijazi, during his tenure, artfully hide the corruption in Orange Lime Metro Train project. Similarly, conceded the information request of China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) regarding Multan metro project.

The applicant also referred to the recent audit report of AGPR and pointed out that the audit raised serious objection on the payment of Rs7.733 million as terminal benefit and Rs 2.7 million as fixed bonus and Rs 100,000 annual increment to the suspended Chairman. Audit is of the view that despite having under suspension and under trial in court of law grant of fixed bonus and annual increment, terminal benefits and bonus was irregular and unauthorized. The applicant demanded the government to order Hijazi to refund all the additional terminal benefits immediately

Posted on: 2018-12-16T13:40:00+05:00

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